Indoor plants don't just look pretty, they can improve our health
Most of the research done on houseplants has been carried out by NASA scientists, researching ways to create sustainable space station habitats. All plants are able to purify the air, however this study has found some to be much more beneficial. The study found that some plants are able to remove up to 90% of chemicals in the air in only 24 hours.
A study at the Dutch Product Board for Horticulture discovered that adding plants to office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats and flu-like symptoms.
In another study by the Agricultural University of Norway, sickness rates fell by more than 60 percent in offices with plants.
To improve health and reduce fatigue and stress
Place one large plant (20cm diameter pot or larger) every 8 square meters. In office or classroom settings, position plants so each person has greenery in view.
To purify air
Place one large plant (20cm diameter pot or larger) every 30 square meters.
So what plants are best for indoor use? Here are our top 10 picks.
1. Aloe Vera
This hardy, sun-loving plant is a great choice for your kitchen windowsill. Aloe Vera purifies the air of formaldehyde and benzene – two chemicals which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more.
2. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Spathiphyllum or peace lily is ideal for the darker spots in the house, as its light requirements are quite low.
NASA’s analysis of indoor houseplants found that the Peace Lily was the most efficient at removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene. Simply put it in a dark corner, give it water once a week and this little plant will help purify the air around that general area.
These plants are great for your home office, place it near your computer to help remove toxins from your computer and other electronics.
In addition, the Peace Lily is also highly effective at removing mould spores from the air. To get the real benefits place yours in a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room.
3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Needing only moderate light, the Spider Plant is easy to care for with many benefits. They produce oxygen and purify the air in your home and office, by absorbing carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene.
4. English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
Have a mould problem in your home? English Ivy can substantially reduce the amount of mould in the air of your home, according to research presented to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
5. Boston Fern
The Boston Fern is one of the best air purifying houseplants It helps rid the home of harmful toxins, while improving humidity by helping to restore moisture to the air naturally too. The Boston Fern is said to offer real health benefits to those who suffer from dry skin or irritably dry noses or throats.
A low maintenance, highly beneficial indoor plants which is great for gardening beginners. Peperomia or Radiator plant is one of the best air purifying woody perennial plant that mostly thrives in loose, humid soils. This plant effectively removes formaldehyde from the air.
Calathea is a, highly-decorative houseplant with colourful, ornamental foliage.
It purifies the surrounding air, filtering out a multitude of compounds that are more or less poisonous.
8. Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)
This plant does well in low light and is forgiving if you miss an occasional watering. In fact, the golden pothos prefers to dry out in between waterings.
NASA places this plant among the top 3 types of houseplants great for removing formaldhyde. Also known for removing carbon monoxide and increasing general indoor air quality.
9. Ficus Elastica
Ficus mainly absorbs formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia that is present in detergents. It acts on cigarette smoke, deodorizers and also varnish.
This plant grows in a well-lit place and is particularly well suited to growing indoors in our houses and apartments.
10. Golden Cane Palm
This plant was identified by NASA as being one of the best at removing formaldehyde, commonly found in carpets. It’s good for daytime oxygen production and additionally, it helps restore moisture to dry winter air.